Texas A&M University Commerce
The Special October 2012
The Special is an online magazine produced by journalism students at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Content and production are the responsibilities of the students. The Special is produced twice each fall and spring semester. Contact: The Special, Texas A&M University - Commerce, Box 4104, Commerce, Texas 75429 (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Staff: Allison Drummond, Gizem Baydar, Lorena Gonzalez, Seoyoung Cha, DaHye Chae, Jiho Jun, Jiyoun Jung, Gwiwon Nam, Dupora Yun; Design: Jessica Martin; Faculty Adivser: Fred Stewart
Table of �������� Page 3
Enrollment on a Global Scale
Services Support Students
Helping Others Help Themselves
Conquering the Globe
Enrollment on a
Services Suďż˝ďż˝ort STUDENTS T
exas A&M UniversityCommerce has been the temporary school for more and international students for several years. The International Student Services (ISS) provides a way for students to come to America, get a well-rounded education, and learn American culture. This semester however, the number of international students has slightly declined but John Mark Jones, director of International Student Services and adviser, said the numbers should go back up next spring. Last spring was the largest group with more than 1,200
by Allison Drummond international students. The A&M-Commerce student body represents more than 50 countries, the largest groups coming from Saudi Arabia, India and South Korea, with 563 students total. A&M-Commerce administrators have attended conferences in other countries to recruit international students as well as utilize recruiting companies. Previous international students who may have had an excellent experience also recruit their own family members and friends. The process for international students to study at A&MCommerce is the same for American
students who study abroad. The students fill out an admission form, provide proof that they are proficient in English, and show that they have enough funding for one year at the university. The students also have to get a bacterial meningitis vaccination before they start at A&M-Commerce. To prepare the international students for an American university, Jones said his department does liaison work with all the difference countries to make sure everything is going accordingly. Brenda Brand, assistant director of International Student Services
and adviser, takes care of processing all the paper work such as transfer forms and material for visas. She also helps the students with what to do when they get to the United States. “We have several orientations the students have to attend,” Jones said. “We also take them to the malls and markets to get them acquainted with American customs and currency.” ISS has also started a workin-progress program called Lion Cousins. This is a mentor program to help get the international students acclimated to the different cultures represented on campus. The program is not only for the international students, but is also for American students because they also learn about different cultures and traditions. Another way ISS introduces the international students’ cultures is through International Studies Week, which features a different event from a different country each evening. The students are required to live on campus until they have taken a specified number of class hours. Once they have completed these hours, the students can live anywhere. Jones said a lot of the students elect to live in Dallas and commute to Commerce. ISS also provides counseling for the students. “I prefer the students to come to my department whenever they have a problem, whether it is troubles in class or grades,” Jones said. “The department tries to get in contact with all of the professors to go over where the students are having troubles and see what needs to be recommended to help the students. However, other students may just go to the liaison of their country instead of to my office.”
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If the students have a problem with grades, it can affect the status of their visas, which is why Jones prefers the students contact him with any problems. He said that in the past, he had trouble with the students going to their friends with problems, or the students would get incorrect information about how to fix whatever problem occurred. “Students can come and talk to us about anything,” Brand said. “The usual things they discuss with me are about keeping their legal status with their visas, classes and grades, plans after they graduate, resources they can use on and off campus, getting involved in student organizations, and health.” Jones also mentioned that the students are asked to fill out a survey about their concerns with racism or controversy. The department will then work the students on the area of concern. International students also face other challenges. When the students come to the university, they may not know anyone. That could potentially be frightening for them, especially if there is a bit of a language barrier. Another challenge mentioned was difficulty getting use to American lifestyles. “We have the ultimate resource, which is students, to learn about different lifestyles all over the world,” Brand said. “This is a good way to learn about different cultures.” “I think international students studying in America is a start to breaking down any barriers of racism,” Jones said. “About 49 per cent of the world’s leaders have studied in the United States at one point and I believe it’s a good way to learn about different cultures and their values.”
We have the ultimate resource, which is students, to learn about different lifestyles all over the world. -Brenda Brand
by Dupora Yun and Jiho Jun Image Credit:alphacoders.com
here are more than 800 international students with many cultural differences on the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus. One of these differences is military service concerning some international students and American students who have served, as well as those who will be serving in the future. There are several differences in how one serves his/her country. The most significant difference is some countries have maintained serving as a required duty while the United States, France, and India have adopted a volunteer military service system. In contrast, some countries such as South Korea, North Korea, and Israel have adopted a selective service system in which all men must serve, except those who are exempt. This process to distinguish who can take military service has to be permitted by the government. In case of failing to perform a duty because of circumstances or physical ability, the government
offers alternatives such as working in public schools. However, people who refuse to perform military duties can be sent to jail in South Korea In North Korea, the government regards someone who does not take military service as betraying the government and they can be punished. It is mandatory to serve and in extreme cases, one can be sentenced as a betrayer even if they avoid serving due to a disability. Each country has a different military level. According to the World Military Power report 2012 by, GFP (Global Fire Power) the United States ranked No. 1, Russia ranked No. 2, China No. 3 and South Korea ranked No. 7, North Korea ranked No. 22 and Mexico ranked No. 30. This research considered 45 factors such as the number of available military manpower, the number of weapons they have and how much money they spend for military.
Benjamin McClellan, U.S Navy for six years.
Jiho Jun, 21, plans to go into the military.
Chan Su Oh, 25, South Korean Army (Discharged at the rank of sergeant in 2010.)
Mi Hyun Choi, 26, South Korean Army.
What is the reward of military service?
Is military service helpful in life?
MCCLELLAN: “I think a reward after my time is complete will be that I will not have to pay for school. Like I said earlier, once I'm out, the Navy will pay the school directly for me, and also give me a housing allowance.” OH: “Just some pocket money from my family because they knew military life in Korea is hard. Actually, Korean military salary has been remained low. It was less than $100 per month.” CHOI: “For me, there is no financial aid but I think the biggest reward through serving in the military is confidence. I have confidence what I am doing and I will have confidence in what I will do.” JUN: “There are some programs to replace serving. However, they are for people who have a physical weakness. There is also KOEICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency), but it has specific requirements. I want to receive diverse experiences so I will do volunteer work for international people. I just want to spend my time in a more useful way.”
MCCLELLAN: “Being in the service can be beneficial to you as a person. I joined right out of high school, so I grew up/ became more mature. I think it helps you realize what you truly want to do with your life, and gives you a greater respect/understanding of different people of different cultures.” OH: “During the period of military service, I thought it was painful. No freedom, no favorite foods, no girls and the weather was either too cold or too hot. But, after I finished my duty, I could understand what I got. I think two years is just a little part of my life. Now I have had special experiences and made friends who were with me there.” CHOI: “Most men have difficulty serving in the military. Because I am a woman, I have difficulty, but, I will overcome these difficulties in military. After that, I can do anything that I want with confidence and without giving up.”
What is most difficult about military service?
Why did you decide on military service?
MCCLELLAN: “I think the most difficult thing about serving is the amount of time spent away from family. I have been in for almost six years, and I only get to come home about twice a year. I think the only way to overcome that is to stay in touch as best as I can. It's somewhat easy these days because of Facebook, email, Skype/ FaceTime. But, it's still not the same as physically being home.” OH: “I felt most of things were hard, also I could not do anything without permit. Even breathe because of military discipline. The Korean army has a lot of restriction. I missed freedom. No special things, just ordinary things such as having dinner with my family like that. I just spent the time as it passed because I realized I could not change anything about the military system.” CHOI: “The most difficult thing to me is physical limitations because I am a woman. We usually train with men without any discrimination. It very hard. Also, most of my friends spend time with their family but I cannot be with mine because of my work. I think physical limitations cannot be overcome but whenever I have spare time, I usually exercise to overcome my limitations. Also, I try to call to my parents but it has to be permitted. So I usually send them an e-mail to ask how they are.” JUN: “I think most men who will take military service might be worried about the rank society. In the military, there is a specific rank that I have to follow. Also, many men apply to take military service when they are freshmen. So I will have to obey what they are saying although they are younger than me.”
MCCLELLAN: “I joined to get to travel around the world and see new places, get money for school (they will pay for college) and to get out on my own. I wanted to be independent and not rely on someone for everything.” OH: “Korean men must do military service for two years, but two years is not a short time so I worried about that. I felt nervous about that when I was a high school student because the day to join the Army was coming. In the morning of the day to go into the military, I woke up early, cut hair myself and waited my parents awake. It felt kind of like going to prison because taking military service is a duty so that I could not choose what I want.” CHOI: “My father was in the Army when I was a middle school student. This affected me a lot. His work was guaranteeing people’s safety. I was so thankful to my father and my friends were thankful. The important thing which influenced me to serve was I want to be a person who works for people.” JUN: “I did not have a choice because Korean men have to serve, according to the constitution. To tell the truth, I don’t want to serve because during the military, two years, I cannot do what I want. Also, I have to observe every rule and I have to always get permits whenever I try to do something. There is no reward in serving. I get around $100 per month and the government will not pay my tuition after serving.”
Helping others help
THEMSELVES The experience of an Ethiopian psychology major.
hen Enqutatash Amare came to the United States, she not only encountered new experiences and cultural differences at every turn, including language, food, education but she even “stepped forward” in time. Time has a different meaning for this Texas A&M University-Commerce student who lives in the present but is about seven years behind when she goes home to Ethiopia. So, while it is the year 2012 in the United States, back home in Ethiopia, it is the year 2005. Amare, a freshman psychology major, was born in 1993 on Sept. 11 - New Year’s Day in Ethiopia because the Ethiopians follow the Coptic calendar that is seven years behind the Gregorian calendar used in America. Seven years, seven days, and seven hours to be exact. “I know that Sept. 11 in Ethiopia is New Year’s Day, so I just call Ethiopia and they tell me what year it is. I would not know which exact year, because I am not living there and they would tell me if the year is 2004 or 2005."
By Lorena Gonzalez Ethiopian culture is also diverse in ethnicity and although more than 93 languages are spoken, Amanaric, derived from the tribe Amara, is the country’s national language. Amare says she is part Amara, part Tigre, and part “something else.” “[The Amanaric language] is very original,” she said. “We have our own alphabet, our own language, and our own accents. We don’t share our language with anything else or any other country. [Each language] is totally different.” Amare said she learned English by watching the Disney Channel on television and reading the Junie B. Jones children’s book series. “I can relate to [foreign-exchange students] because English is your second language and I know how it must feel to be in a place where people speak a language that you have never spoken in your life and you just feel out of place. Not speaking English makes it hard for you to fit in,” Amare said.
I wanted to be there for people. People that go through worse than she did or people that just have trouble with life. -Enqutatash Amare Amare, a freshman from Ethiopia, tells of her struggles and joys while studying at Texas A&M University - Commerce.
She has experienced other differences and similarities including Ethiopian food being very spicy and nothing like American food but Ethiopian clothing is similar [compared to that of American clothes] and consists of vintage material and cotton. When Amare came to America, she was 12. She came with her sister and lived with her adoptive aunt/mother, Fenta Dagnew and had trouble getting used to the different lifestyle between America and Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, she could go out at midnight and come back anytime without worry or getting into trouble because the crime rate in Ethiopia was low. “I lived in a small city and there was no violence,” she said. “People weren’t very harmful to you, and they didn’t want to do anything bad. It was a carefree environment.” Ethiopia and America have the same education from kindergarten to high school but the only difference is that Ethiopian students are required to take exit-level tests - in the 8th grade, the 10th grade, the 12th grade, and in college. While in college, Ethiopians are not allowed to choose their own major but rather are assigned one.
“You don’t have a guarantee of getting a job after college,” Amare said. “You’re assigned a major to study and do not have the right to choose your own major. You only get a job if you’re a doctor and not many people get that major because you have to score really high on the exam-level in college.” Amare chose her major of psychology because of her mother had been raped as young woman and had no one to talk to about her experience. “When I came to America, I would sit and think about, ‘What if she had someone she could talk to at that point?’” Amare said. “I wondered how it would have been different if I was there and could talk to her. It would have helped a little. So, I wanted to be there for people. People that go through worse than she did or people that just have trouble with life.” After Amare graduates, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in psychology while teaching children. “I just want to influence kids into being a better person and learn to listen to other people’s problems. Just by being a good listener, you make their life a lot easier and just a little bit better,” Amare said.
ore than 800 international students at Texas A&M University-Commerce have basically three choices when they want to eat. They can go the campus cafeteria, cook for themselves or go to a restaurant. There are several restaurants in Commerce but the international students don’t exactly know much about them. One local restaurant is Panda Chinese Restaurant which opened in 2001.Owner Bab Yen said they prepare their own fresh ingredients every day. “Hunan chicken is the best menu item and sesame chicken is prepared by many of the Indonesian students,
Diplomatic By JiYoun Jung and Gwiwon Nam so it is one of their preferences. We Teng, China King owner, said the also have honey walnut shrimp and most popular menu items are the chicken plus hot and spicy chicken, house special fried rice, Hunan beef and shredded beef house special lo mein, chicken which are all popular menu items. with broccoli, General Tso’s chicken, We try to cook to suit our customers’ orange beef, sesame chicken, and the taste and prices range between $5 buffet. and $9,” Yen said. “Americans normally love “Mostly during lunch time, chicken or beef, so meat is the main students and professors come to the ingredient in these restaurant and at dinner time, the popular menus,” Teng said. 20-60 age groups come in. Peak “Especially the house special menus times are noon to 1 p.m. and 5- 7 are really popular, because these are p.m.” a blend of meat such as chicken and The restaurant is open seven days beef.” a week, from 11 a.m until 9:30 p.m. The strong points of the restaurant and is located at 1207 Alamo St. are that they serve a buffet featuring (Town Square) in Commerce. 13 main China King is the closest Chinese foods, soups, and eight desserts restaurant to campus. and they are close to campus.
International students find themselves dining at International restaurants, such as Panda (pictured above) and China King, when they miss the flavors of home.
“I like this restaurant’s buffet, because I can enjoy eating various Chinese foods,” Monica Govind, A&M-Commerce student, said. “Most of all, I can also have dessert and a fortune cookie.” “I don’t have a car, so it is really hard to go to restaurants,” Keugmo Gu, Korean international student, said. “But after finding this restaurant, I feel really happy to know there is a Chinese restaurant within easy distance of campus. Also, the Chinese foods have many similarities with Korean foods, so I usually come here to eat.” According to Teng, around 100 people come to the restaurant during the weekend and the rush hour time is Friday lunch.
“I think students who live off campus come here at that time before going back to their house, so that time is the most busy time,” he said. “The peak time for our restaurant is around lunch time, because students usually have a time limit during the week.” The primary customers are American and international students like Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese. Teng said he will not change the menu at this time, but “I have plans to change the menu next year. I will survey our customers then decide on the menu.” The restaurant, located at 2000 Live Oak St. in Commerce, and is open Monday- Thursday: 11 a.m-10
p.m, Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m-11 p.m, and Sunday: 11 a.m-10 p.m. Another restaurant convenient to the campus is the Lone Star Eatery which has a varied menu to cater to customers and their different tastes. “We are able to have a very wide variety of menu options. We aren't an Italian restaurant, a Tex-Mex restaurant, or an American diner. We are all of the above and more. It makes a great choice for families who can't pick one type of food to eat,” Lone Star manager Jonathon Glass said. According to Glass, the menu is diverse so it is hard to pick just one item as the most popular. “If I had to choose one, I would say our chicken fried steaks
The environment of the cafeteria and the food quality are satisfactory to me, but I wish the cafeteria would consider the international students more. I know many international students have complained about the menu not having international food. -Huan Guo, Chinese student
have always been one of the top contenders,” he said. A varied menu is the strong point of this restaurant. “When I was a child, my family could never all agree to one type of restaurant. Someone always had to compromise and I think we've tried hard to make sure everyone leaves happy,” he said. Lone Star serves appetizers, entrees, bar services, dessert and a buffet in the prices range of $3.99 to $18.99. According to Glass, the second strong point is they have been established in Commerce for a long time. A lot of their customers have been coming to the restaurant for a long time. Customers’ children might have worked here while in school or maybe they knew the owners outside of work from church or other local organizations like The Lions Club. Glass also donates to the city whether through the school system, city organizations, or just being able to give jobs to residents. Through these kinds of activities, he feels they are part of the community and feels it is important to give back as much as they can. The peak time at the restaurant is normally 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. “However, it commonly changes to accommodate what is happening in the city,” Glass said. The restaurant stays pretty busy but daily customer percentage is flexible depending on what is going on in/around town. “If the Commerce High School Tigers' teams play out of town, we
tend to be busier,” Glass said. “Not only are sports a main factor, but things in the city like the annual fireworks show or the Bois d Arc Bash all play a key role in how busy the restaurant will be.” The address is 2203 Culver St. in Commerce and hours are SundayThursday: 11 a.m-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Mohammed Elfghi is a graduate student from Libya who frequents the campus cafeteria. “I know many students don’t like the university cafeteria, but I like the food because I have no meal plan in the cafeteria,” Elfghi said. He doesn't have a meal in the school cafeteria but whenever he wants to eat the cafeteria food, he just pays at that time. “I like burgers, sandwiches, and pizza in the cafeteria. My favorite food is seafood and the cafeteria serves seafood like fried fish once in a while,” Elfghi said. He doesn’t like to cook, so he said he usually goes to a restaurant or the cafeteria. But he does keep some food and snacks in his refrigerator, because sometimes he has no time to go out to eat. “I usually buy food like yogurt and fruit at Braums, because they have high quality and fresh food,” Elfghi said. He added that he goes to WalMart for chocolate or other desserts because of the variety available. “I hope the cafeteria provides a more universal menu for international students,” Huan Guo
said. Guo is from China, has a meal added. “I cook Korean foods when I plan in the cafeteria and goes to the miss them and I also make pasta or cafeteria for breakfast and lunch. American foods because I can buy “I usually eat cereal, milk and ingredients at Wal-Mart. yogurt for breakfast and I enjoy “Because I am Korean, I usually eating salad for lunch,” Guo said. eat Korean foods at home,” she said. “Actually, I liked American food “Rice and kimchi are the most things when I lived in China, but now it that I have at my house. However, is boring to have the same cafeteria some ingredients for making Korean menu,” she said. “If I had a choice to food are expensive, so I am trying to decide a new menu for the cafeteria, make American foods.” it would include Chinese food.” Ingredients to cook home food “The environment of the cafeteria are sometimes available but can be and the food quality are satisfactory difficult to get. -Mohammed Elfghi, to me, but I wish the cafeteria would “I prefer to buy ingredients at Walconsider the international students Mart because it is the closest grocery Libyan Student more. I know many international store to my house and I get most of students have complained about the things that I need to buy,” Kim the menu not having international said. “Sometimes I buy foods at a food,” Guo said. Korean market, but I cannot go She said she likes to cook for there as often as I want because I herself and used to cook in China don’t own a car." but she lives in Smith Hall and can’t cook in the residence hall. “When I really miss Chinese food, I go to Panda restaurant,” Guo said. Korean student Su Kyung Kim has been in Commerce for nine months and regularly visits Lonestar Eatery when going out to eat. “I usually go is Lonestar Eatery,” Kim said. “The reasons I like that restaurant is its location and there are many foods that I like to eat. There are various menus, so I try different foods whenever I go there and I have never been disappointed.” Kim also eats in the cafeteria on a regular basis. “I have a meal plan and I usually Image Credit: http://www.blirk.net have breakfast or lunch at the International students enjoyed the delicacies of America, but now that it's an everday food, it's cafeteria,” Kim said. become boring for them, and they miss the tastes of home. “I also like cooking at home,” she
I like burgers, sandwiches, and pizza in the cafeteria.
Conquering the Globe 17
I was afraid that foreigners would not like Asians, but I saw that's not true. My roommate and people here are so nice and I think this is really good. By Gizem Baydar Texas A&M University-Commerce is home to international students from all over the world with Youngeun Lee being among those students who transferred from Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea with the Konkuk Global Frontier Program (KGFP). Lee is 21 years old, born and raised in the metropolitan city of Busan, South Korea and transferred to A&M-Commerce in the spring semester of 2012. Lee wanted to come to America early in her lifetime, where she believes she can get a better education and sees it as an opportunity to improve her skills in the English language. “When I was in middle school, I wanted to go to America but my mom was surprised that the school is far from the city. It is common in America that mothers pick up their children from school but in Korea it’s not. Many Korean students use buses or bicycle. So my mom was afraid that I would be homesick and concerned about the distance between the school and the city,” Lee said. Lee’s America dream came true when she started college after deciding to participate in KGFP. According to Lee, there is not much to do in Commerce. “There is no transportation and it’s so
uncomfortable because I’m used to using buses in Korea,” Lee said. Lee also had concerns about the small number of businesses around Commerce. “The only place to shop is Wal-Mart, I wish there was a Korean market or restaurant [in Commerce].” “I expected big differences between America and Korea,” Lee said. “I felt like I can’t speak English as soon as possible and I have difficulties understanding the slang. The language problem is the most challenging thing for me.” Another thing that caught Lee’s attention is the business hours of the stores. “In Korea, many stores are open 24 hours but [in America] it’s 12 hours they are so strict with the time,” she said. When it comes to the challenges of education, Lee said she has difficulties listening to the lectures and taking notes at the same time due to the language barrier. As with most of the international students, Lee said she had a culture shock when she arrived in the United States. Coming from a metropolitan city and being used to the crowd, Commerce was a small town for her. Spring 2012, she was living on campus in Whitley Hall, a residence hall where female and male students reside in the same hall. For Lee, it was something
unusual in Korean culture. “I was shocked when there was a guy living next door to me. In Korea, female and male dorms are separate,” Lee said. Lee’s journey not only consisted of traveling in the United States and South Korea but over the summer break, she visited Spain, England, Germany, Austria, Prague and Hungary. Among the places she has visited including the United States, Lee said that the best one was London, England, because she fell in love with the British accent. “It was easier to communicate [in England] since their first language is English. In other countries there were some problems with communication,” Lee said. Lee likes the attention she gets from the American students. “They are curious about us because we look different, we speak a different language and they want to learn Korean words,” Lee said. “I want to teach them Korean but it’s a very different structure compared to English.” She is pleased with the interest shown in her by the local student body. “I was afraid that foreigners would not like Asians but I saw that’s not true. My roommate and people around here are so nice and I think this is really good.”
by Dahye Chae and Seoyoung Cha International Students Services offer special service for international students to help and support them while attending Texas A&M University-Commerce. There are four representative services, including New Student Orientation, Cultural Events, Transportation Service, and Employment Service. Their goal is to assist international students in their transition to life in the United States and at the university. New Student Orientation provides students the opportunity to meet with and receive advising from Success Coaches and Academic Advisers, register for classes, acquire
Student ID card and parking permit, pay tuition and fees, and learn about services and resources available to enhance their personal and academic success at the university. Orientation is a required event for all new students (freshman and transfer) students. “I was very nervous about everything, like housing and registration at that time because America was a foreign country for me,” Kyubin Kim, age 20, said. “Therefore, the orientation helped me a lot for knowing about the university. It can be easier to register for class and adapt to this university.”
Cultural Events help the international students adapt easily and give them the opportunity to know about others and introduce their own country. “Lion Cousin,” is a mentor program that helps students learn about the different cultures represented on campus. American and international students are paired up for one semester. “I know they always plan a lot of events for international students,” Carlos Ruiz (20) said. “You know, it is difficult to adapt to a foreign country. I especially miss my family very much. It makes me feel very alone. However, there are always
I was very nervous about everything, like housing and registration at that time because America was a foreign country for me. -Kyubin Kim
lots of events when I feel alone. These events make me feel like I’m spending time with my family. Therefore, I think these events helped me to adapt faster.” The Annual Multicultural Festival is co-sponsored by the International Student Services and the Association of International Students to give all international students and their organizations the opportunity to showcase their unique cultures. The college community, surrounding cities and schools have a chance to explore the world during the Multicultural Festival which features a flag parade, food tasting, arts, crafts, culture displays, talent show,
and a fashion show. The ISSO also provides transportation services because many international students don’t have a car, making transportation difficult when they want to go other places. So, the ISSO hosts a trip to Dallas for all international students once a month. Students who don’t have a car can go to their countries’ market in Dallas and buy international food and other various things. Daniel Zhou, graduate student from China said, “The biggest challenge I faced living in Commerce was transportation because it is hard to live in the US without a car. However, I can go
downtown on the shuttle services provided by ISSO.” ISSO also provides employment services because international students are required to attend a workshop or orientation prior to being eligible to apply for jobs. Optional Practical Training (OPT) helps the students prepare for part-time and full-time jobs after graduation plus it shows the students how to get a work visa. By taking OPT, the students can get off-campus employment. Xiaochen Zhang, a graduate student from China said, “I plan to find a job in the US after I graduate and OPT will help me to get a job.”